Black Panzar M43







This is another variation on the M43 field hat that was designed for the  panzar corps and the waffen SS. (This blog distances itself politically from Nsdap and it's SS). The panzar M43 and waffen SS versions differ in that the panzar version has the eagle and german cockade were as the waffen SS version has the eagle combined with a skull (totenkopf). The totenkopf is in it's turn is a historical relic from the napleonic era when special assult troops had skulls on their hats (see cartoon pirates aswell for parallels). On the market there are several black M43's both summer versions in  mollskin cotton and the woolen winter version. Prices are good and quality is also good, though some of the cheaper versions have design flaws as with the cheaper grey M43's. I have a good cheaper version in 70% wool and 30% viscos and it's is a good solid everyday hat and priced approx 19 Euro. Places like Hessen antique have the  top end German made versions which by apprereance are stuning. The material and workmanship are essencial for right appreance. Bad sewing will give a clumpsy appreance. Go for mid to top range if you are choosy. I bought my black M43 from Swedens Desertrat.se för 19 Euro and I use it daily. It's a good warm hat in winter.

Finlands M36 - M43 field hats

 Civil war model field hat
 Finnish soldiers in M36's during WW2
 Cartoon of Finnish borderguard with M43
 Reproduction M36
 Original M36 field hat (note same as M43)
 Finnish soldiers in summer issue M36's
Postwar Finnish army M43 field hat (note Finnish lions on buttons)
Finnish army M43 in the mid 1960's

Apart from Germany and Austria, Finlands is the other axis country that has used the M43 style field hat the longest. It's origins are from the pre WW1 era and definetly during the civilwar (post WW1) M36 style fields hats were common. The M36 and predecessors are similar to the Austrian bergmutze in both design and material. During WW2 this hat was standard issue in the Finnish army and it was nicknamed "Blood Scoop" for obvious reasons. This M36 modell has remained in Finland unultered until approx mid 60's when the M43 style field hat was issued more widely (see bottom picture) according to sources the WW2 M36 was used well into the 80's.. Today the Finnish army uses a M45 style/BDU style hats and god forbid baseball caps. So get a Finnish M36/M43 before they disapear. This field hat is a legend and a symbole of respect, so think twice before calling people wearing M43's nazis.. You only prove your ignorance doing that. This blog is dedicated to the living memory of all those who defended Finland in their Blood Scoops. Enough said. Sotavaruste Ky sells this hat for 15 Euro with Finnish cockade, see link.

Austrian Bundesheer field hat


The Austrian army or Bundesheer as they are called is another former axis power that kept the M43 style field hat. When it comes to the M43 and similar designs they all seem to have their origin in the Austro-Hungarian feldkappe from the pre WW1 era (see picture above) All these later field hats are styled after these feldkappes and bergmutzes (mountain hats). The Bundesheer field hat has the higher crown that is similar to the original Austrian feldkappe, if one compares it with the other axis versions of this hat. These current Austrian field hats are made of 67% polyester and 33% viscos (at time of writing I'm not sure if a cotton version is also available) prices on used hats range from 2:50 - 4 Euro. New hats are priced approx 15Euro. Varusteleka - Finland sells used ones for 2:50 Euro. This is another classic version of the M43 field hat that is also a practical hat for everyday use. Anyone who knows about cheap suppliers please get in touch.

Next time a rundown on Finnish M36's/M43's .

Bundeswehr Tropentarn M43 field hats


The Bundeswehr Tropentarn camoflage M43 field hat has it's roots with it's predecessor the Afrika Corp M43, which was a simpler version of the standard M43 field hat. It was simple with fake fold outs and a light colour to suit the deserts of northern Africa. The current Bundeswehr Tropentarn field hat has been said to have originated in it's current form as an development of the green Bundeswehr flektarn field hat for use in the campaign in Somalia.  Currently it's used in the campaign in Afghanistan by the Bundeswehr.  Just as the flektarn M43 this tropentarn version is slightly smaller than the original M43s, and it hasn't got the large brim of the Afrika corp version. I haven't seen any used ones for sale and most on sale are brand new. There seems to be 2 colour versions of this hat. One with light  khaki with 2 shades of brown and another the Mil tec version with the addition of green, see picture above. Prices are around in the 8 - 10 Euro range. This is a great summer hat and very tasteful in apprearence. See local dealers so you can  get for one for yourself.

Bundeswehr M43 field hats





After WW2 Germany was divided as we all know and West Germany was created and it was called Bundes republik Deutschland (BRD) and it's army was called Bundeswehr. The Germany army or heer kept the M43 field hat as did several other former axis countries such as Austria, Finland and East Germany (DDR)among others. It is/was also used by several borderguards and police forces. Naturally the hats were modifified and this current popular Bundeswehr field hat is more similar to the more simple Afrika corp and SS camoflage style caps, with false fold outs than the original M43. They are also slightly smaller in size, which make them a practical everyday work hat. They have a cheaper feel to them aswell. The hats are made of either 100% cotton or a combination of cotton and polyester. I myself have an used ex. army cap (see pic in the middle) and it is a good practical hat that I wear daily. It's well sown and sits well. It's recomended that you get one that is a size or two larger. You know conscripts are young kids with small heads..

These Bundeswehr field hats are sold as used former army issue hats and brand new. I'd choose the cotton versions because of better quality and colouralsation. The colours are either olive green, flecktarn camoflage (see pic above) or tropentarn (desert camoflage, more on them later on), even old blue versions float about. Prices are very affordable as low as 0.90 Euros to 5 Euros depending on dealer and country. German lists have special 10 hats for 9 euro deals as well. The brand new versions cost approx 8-9 Euros. See dealers in sidebar for details. Beware of high postage rates of the German dealers. Buy from local dealers to avoid that trap.

More on Tropentarn field hats at another time.

Miltec M43 camoflage reproductions

Here is a section of the reproductions German Mil tec makes (sold here by Räer in Germany). Miltec uses 65% polyester and 35% cotton which makes it a durable and practical hat for outdoor use but it has a polyester like shine which some don't appreciate. I own the erbsentarn (autamn camo) (Östertarn in pic) hat and it's a well sown, well fitting cap. I use mine everyday. Prices range from 4.90Euros to 10 Euros depending on shop. I bought mine from Desertrat.se. I recommend them highly. I want a Sumpftarn version soon!

This blog will continue to look into the M43 field hat and this blog is politically neutral and will remain so. Don't hesitate to comment.